Body Found Amid Search for Missing 2-Year-Old Boy Noah Tomlin, Say Police

July 4, 2019 Updated: July 4, 2019

The body of missing 2-year-old boy Noah Tomlin was believed to be found at a steam plant in Virginia, said police.

Police were searching the plant on July 3 before finding the remains of a child believed to be of Noah, Hampton Police Chief Terry Sult confirmed at a news conference, ABC News reported.

“The priority all along has been to find Noah,” Sult said, NBC News reported. “It’s with very mixed emotions that we report today that goal has been accomplished.”

A formal identification has not yet been made, the chief added.

“Make no mistake: This has taken a toll on our community and our first responders,” Sult told reporters, CNN reported. “It will take time for all involved to recover and to heal.”

According to CNN, the steam plant where the body was found is where city waste goes to burn. The combustion creates steam that is sent to the NASA Langley Research Center, which uses the steam for power.

Police had suspected that the body of the boy was taken to the plant or a landfill, CNN reported.

The boy was last seen after he was put to bed at around 1 a.m. on June 24 at a mobile home in Hampton, said officials.

Julia Tomlin, the child’s mother, told police that she went to check on him at 11 a.m. that day but didn’t find him.

The mother then reported him missing at 11:36 a.m., prompting a search, according to ABC.

Last week, Julia Tomlin was charged with three counts of felony child neglect. The charges involved three children, which include Noah, police said.

Prosecutors are now determining whether more charges will be filed in the case against Tomlin.

“We’re not excluding anything,” Sult said.

Sult said that officers were forced to wade through trash at a landfill for days in terrible conditions to find the boy.

“You’re dealing with conditions that are high humidity, high temperature. In this case, at the steam plant, they’re in a confined space,” Sult said, according to CNN.

Firefighters also had to monitor high methane and carbon levels at the landfill as the officers searched. The officers were called back when the levels rose too high.

“When you get into that and you smell the odors and you’re in the midst of everything, then you realize what you’re there for, and you’re going through literally millions of pounds of garbage,” Sult was quoted as saying by CNN. “It takes tolls.”

The police chief didn’t elaborate on why officers searched a landfill or the steam plant.

Other details about the case are not clear.

Facts About Crime in the US

Violent crime in the United States has fallen sharply over the past 25 years, according to both the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) and the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS).

The rate of violent crimes fell by 49 percent between 1993 and 2017, according to the FBI’s UCR, which only reflects crimes reported to the police.

The violent crime rate dropped by 74 percent between 1993 and 2017, according to the BJS’s NCVS, which takes into account both crimes that have been reported to the police and those that have not.

“From 1993 to 2017, the rate of violent victimization declined 74 percent, from 79.8 to 20.6 victimizations per 1,000 persons age 12 or older,” the U.S. Department of Justice stated.

Both studies are based on data up to and including 2017, the most recent year for which complete figures are available.

The FBI recently released preliminary data for 2018. According to the Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report, January to June 2018, violent crime rates in the United States dropped by 4.3 percent compared to the same six-month period in 2017.

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